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Whether commisioning a new build yacht, managing the ownership of an existing vessel, or even chartering a yacht for a short time, the integration of maritime security professionals into your crew is an area which should not be overlooked.

Particularly in the current climate, having crew members who can provide a high level of service to owners and guests, whilst also being able to deal with incidents or attacks is a valuable asset.

Superyachts and Megayachts (which are typically described as pleasure vessels larger than 60m in length) are amongst some of the most high-value private assets in the world. There are approximately 10,000 large private sailing and motor yachts in operation today with some of the largest over 160m in length. Whether used privately or hired out for charter (or both), these vessels are extremely high-value assets and are potential targets for vandalism, theft, and even attacks from organised criminal groups or pirates. 

Similarly to our land-based Close Protection Operatives, all of our Superyacht Security teams come from a Police or Military background, often from maritime specific units such as the Royal Marines, Special Boat Service (SBS) or Maritime Policing Unit (MPU). This experience is also usually coupled with maritime specialisms as well as the mandatory MCA/STCW industry requirements for crew members.


A Superyacht/Megayacht Security team provides an extra level of security awareness well above the level of regular crew members, and work closely with the Captain to build and maintain robust standard operating procedures and enhance the ship security plan. Additionally our maritime security personnel are also fully-licensed Close Protection Operatives who can provide personal security to clients when going ashore, as well as assisting with other shoreside operations.


They are several security roles available, particularly on larger yachts. These roles include the Ship Security Officer (SSO), the individual who works alongside the Captain and is in-charge of the overall security for the vessel; through to standalone or blended roles such as Deck Security, Shoreside Security, and Security Medics. They can operate on a permanent rotation ensuring the yacht is secured 24/7, 365 days a year, or alternatively be deployed on a temporary basis in order to cover a specific charter or period.


If you are looking to build a bespoke security solution for your yacht, enhance existing security measures, or simply wish to find out more then please get in touch with us here.


Frequently Asked Questions




Although there can sometimes be an element of crossover between various security roles in the industry, when operating onboard a large vessel it is highly recommended that specialist maritime security is employed. There are several reasons for this, such as the fact that a standard private security team would likely not possess the required qualifications to work as part of a yacht crew, but also because the operational procedures and incident response protocols onboard are often very different to those shoreside. That being said, land-based Close Protection teams can sometimes operate as part of a Superyacht Security team, however they would fall under the command of the Ship Security Officer (SSO) and the other maritime security crew members when onboard.



Similarly to their land-based counterparts, the question of whether maritime security teams can be armed depends on the location and nature of the task. For the most part, security teams onboard private vessels will not be permitted to carry firearms, due to the legal policy on firearms in most countries. The only maritime security professionals who typically carry firearms tend to join vessels before transiting through high-threat seas such the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa. 

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